This hasn’t been the best year for the Peninsula Panthers.
The club faced some tumult in late 2011 when they were handed back to league ownership. That change happened in late November and a couple of weeks later, the franchise was purchased by co-owners Pete Zubersky and John Wilson.
Once those shakeups had settled, the Panthers didn’t fare overly well on the ice. The team occupied one of the bottom two spots on the four-team south Island division most of the season.
As the playoffs approached and got underway, the Panthers suffered from injured players, including both goalies. Seven players were benched due to injuries by early February, causing the team to call up midget players to fill the void.
The situation remained dire as playoffs continued: In the semifinals against the Saanich Braves, the Panthers were down by two games going into Game 5. But the local boys clawed their way back to win the series and moved on to the finals.
The club’s performance looks strangely similar to last year’s turn of events in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League playoffs. In 2011, they fought their way back from a 3-0 game deficit to take home the cup in a riveting win against – guess who – the Victoria Cougars. The same team the Panthers play in these 2012 finals.
Need it be said, we’d love to see our Panthers make it two years in a row. They’re earning themselves the veritable title of comeback kids by showing their hard work, especially when under pressure.
There’s one thing we can do to help make it happen. Let’s support our Panthers on their quest for the trophy by cheering them on from behind the glass.
The Peninsula Panthers play the Cougars tomorrow, March 22 at 7:15 p.m. in Esquimalt before returning to Panorama Recreation Centre for two home games: Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 6:30 p.m.